George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jeremiah Dummer Powell, 25 April 1778

From Jeremiah Dummer Powell

State of Massachusetts Bay
Council Chamber April 25 1778


I have the Honor to enclose you the Resolutions of the General Court of this State, Respecting the filling up the fifteen Battalions belonging to the Massachusetts State; and for Reinforceing that part of the American Army on North River, agreeable to the recommendation of the Honorable Congress &c.1

We could wish it had been in our power to have sent a much larger reinforcement to your Army, than the number mentioned in the above Resolves, Yet we can’t but hope that, that number together with the recruits procured by the Recruiting Officers, will make such an addition to your Army, as to Enable you to Execute your plan against the Enemy. That you may have the Divine Smiles & Protection, is the Ardent wish and Sincere Prayer of your real Friend and Humble Servant

President of the Council

Copy, M-Ar: Revolution Letters, 1778; LB, M-Ar: Secretary’s Letterbooks, vol. 7. GW replied to this letter on 19 May.

1The enclosed Massachusetts resolution of 20 April set town quotas to raise by draft or voluntary enlistment 2,000 troops, who were to serve nine months from the date of their rendezvous at Fishkill, New York. The resolve also set procedures regarding substitutes, stated that enlistments of prisoners or deserters would not count toward a town’s quota, levied fines on officers not discharging their recruiting duties and towns not filling their quotas, and forbade a former practice whereby towns deficient in their quota were allowed to hire men from towns that had filled their quotas. Finally the resolve encouraged the recruitment of up to 2,000 volunteers to serve for six months “in such manner as the Commander in Chief of the American army shall order” (Mass. Resolves description begins Resolves of the General Assembly of the State of Massachusetts-Bay, Begun and held at Boston, in the County of Suffolk, on Wednesday the twenty-eighth Day of May, (being the last Wednesday in said Month) Anno Domini, 1777; and thence continued by Adjournments to Wednesday the seventh Day of January 1778, following, and then met at Boston aforesaid, being the fifth sitting of said Assembly. [Boston, 1778]. description ends , May 1777–April 1778 [1 April–1 May 1778], 16–21). On 19 Mar., Congress had “earnestly recommended” that the states “take the most speedy and effectual measures” for raising the “quotas of men” set by a previous resolution of 26 Feb (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 10:270, see also 200).

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